I've come to realize that for some reason, there are a lot of booksellers out there who just don't feel it's important to offer a single book on postpartum depression or related illnesses for sale in their stores. I don't know why. I think that's a major disservice to women everywhere. There's no reason not to have two or three available for the desperate women who aren't yet ready to speak up but are looking for something to help explain what's wrong with them, or for those who've just been diagnosed and are looking for further information, or for family members who aren't sure what's happening to their loved one. We already know that only 10% of all the women who suffer from PPD ever get diagnosed or treated and the other 750,000+ new moms every year are left to fate. Perhaps a few more resources would help.
Right now I'm at the Barnes & Noble on 5th St. (or is it 6th?) in Atlanta. I checked the Child & Family section and there's nothing in the pregnancy or infancy areas. I checked the Self-Help section and there was nothing. I checked the Women's Health section. Zip. I checked the Psychology section. Nada. I also know for a fact that it's the same situation at the Books-A-Million store in Peachtree City because I checked.
What gives? Well I don't know, but I don't think we should accept the status quo. I'm going to start keeping a running list of all the bookstores that don't carry books on PPD and related illnesses on my blog Postpartum Progress, and hopefully we'll start shaming them into shelving them. There are plenty of good books by great people (Shoshanna Bennett, Ruta Nonacs, Karen Kleiman, Ann Dunnewold, Susan Stone, Lucy Puryear, Pec Indman, Diana Lynn Barnes, Sandy Poulin, Susan McRoberts, Tracy Thompson, Adrienne Martini ... the list goes on) that they can sell.
If you care about women having more resources available to them on perinatal mood disorders, I hope you'll join me. (And if you're an author, you have even more selfish reasons to join in!) Go to your local bookstore or two and check the shelves. Let me know what you come up with. We'll track it here. I'll also give credit to booksellers that have made the effort to offer a section or group of 3 or more books on the subject. I thought about calling it the Postpartum Progress "Shelf of Shame" or the "Bookstore Battle" which sounds more fun and controversial, but I'm trying to be positive. I hope the booksellers will want to change their ways. And so the Postpartum Progress Bookstore Challenge begins ...
Barnes & Noble 5th Street Atlanta
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